This week’s blog covers the fourth and last trend for the next decade. It is yet again another topic we have discussed before – multiple generations in the workplace and the pending exodus of the baby boomers. This subject, discussed heavily prior to the recession, has lost much attention. The recession, after all, has forced many baby boomers to delay their retirements. But studies continue to show that these delays are just that … a delay.
There still will be oer 70 million baby boomers who WANT to leave the workplace and go do something more meaningful with their lives…which in many cases means getting away from Corporate America and all the emotional stress that has piled up from that world. Some studies have shown that these baby boomers still want to be active and even work … but to do so under their terms. Flexibility is the key here. The impact of their departure on the workplace and workforce can simply not be underscored enough. The void of this knowledge, experience and wisdom is deeply profound. The fact is that there simply is no substitute for experience and meaningful relationships that it takes years to cultivate that ultimately are leveraged for high levels of outcome and collaboration.
It will be incumbent on organizations to figure out ways to significantly augment the EQ of their managers and leaders and employees. A 30 year old must be able to not just tactically perform as a 40 year old, but to make sound decisions with the maturity of a 40 year old. If you are in the professional development business or responsible for talent management, either formally in the HR function or functionally as a leader, you simply cannot avoid this. You will have more younger workers and less older workers. What makes this so troublesome is the unprecendented levels of differences in everything from work ethic, or styles of communication/behavior, and work-life expectations. A tremendous wealth of information on details on topic already exists – my point this week is to put this topic in the context of the other three trends (Recession Recovery, Globalization, Technology) and the picture becomes very clear – we have to prepare for the impact of these collectively in ways that we have never done so. This will take a lot of “think time” and “collaboration” between you, your leaders, your employees, thought leaders, and your network. You will have to find newer ways to recruit, retain, and grow this workforce. Are you ready?